Friends and family members bid tearful goodbyes on Monday to about 60 members of the Ohio National Guard on Monday, who are preparing to deploy overseas.
The members of Charlie Battery, 1-174th Air Defense Artillery, will serve in Iraq as part of Operation New Dawn, 10TV's Tino Ramos reported.
The group has one goal: "We get back home safe and everybody goes and comes back all as one group," said Sgt. Dustin Hooks.
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The guard members will provide early warning of impending mortar attacks in Iraq for the next year, Ramos reported.
Judy Ring and about a dozen family members were on hand to say goodbye to Ring's son, Spc. Brandon Ring.
"He's my first born and the one that has been with me the longest, but I'm very proud of him," Ring said.
Spc. Ring said the guard members appreciated the support.
"People coming out here at 4:30 a.m., it's cold," Ring said. "You know we got the support of the whole town behind us, it's an amazing thing right now."
They will join forces with a group out of Woodlawn, Ohio and will finish training at Fort Sills, in Oklahoma, before deploying overseas.
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